The Treasurer’s Race Is Coming to a TV Near You

Deb Goldberg gets in with an ad buy.

Deb Goldberg today became the first Democratic candidate for state Treasurer to start advertising on television, rolling out a 30-second ad that will run on NECN and NESN. It’s a relatively small initial buy, but her campaign assures me that she will be advertising solidly through the September 9 primary.

Advertising could be a difference-maker in a race that has received little attention, is likely to have no major televised debates, and features relatively little-known candidates vying for an office much of the public doesn’t fully comprehend anyway.

Plus, there are long memories of the 2002 Treasurer primary, in which Tim Cahill’s victory was attributed by many to his TV ad, which featured his button-cute youngest daughter urging viewers to vote for her dad.

Having that kind of impact will take more than the $112,000 and change in Goldberg’s campaign account as of the end of July. Unsurprisingly, her strategist Chris Keohan says that the candidate does plan some self-funding. “The amount is to be determined, but there will be some of her own money in there,” Keohan says.

She won’t have the airwaves to herself for too long. One of her opponents, state senator Barry Finegold, will transfer $500,000 Tuesday to the four major network broadcast affiliates in Boston, to reserve ad time beginning sometime later this month, says Finegold strategist Dan Cence.

“That’s our initial buy, and we’ll probably be doubling that” by the primary, Cence says. That speaks to some optimism about Finegold’s August fundraising, since the campaign had less than $600,000 on hand at the end of July.

The third candidate in the race, state representative Tom Conroy, has the smallest campaign kitty, but his campaign assures me that he will be advertising before too long. “Paid advertising is certainly part of our voter outreach and education, and we’ll be up in the air in the next several weeks,” campaign spokesperson Jon Tapper said in a statement.